by Mike Marek
Dalvin Cook flat out dominated Detroit on Sunday. Defenders were barely able to get a hand on him, and he was easily the fastest man on the field. It was like Dalvin Cook entered the ethereal plane, rendering all those that would attempt to stop him inadequate. Dalvin is currently on a tear that has included almost 500 yards from scrimmage in the last two games, not to mention the six touchdowns. A feat like this hasn’t been even close to equaled in Minnesota since Adrian Peterson was carrying the Vikings to the playoffs in his 2012 MVP season.
Speaking of Adrian, he didn’t look so hot running for the Lions this week. I know he is looking to set some records, but I think he has to know he is close to the end. He is long removed from when he was king of the world in his 2,000-yard rushing season in 2012; however, if you close enough you can draw some parallels to the current situation the Vikings are in.
The 2012 season had a better start to it, but it also had a stretch of games where the Vikings went 1-4. Christian Ponder had arguably his best season in purple bringing the Vikings to a 10-win season behind the run-heavy offense that was driven by the aforementioned MVP, Adrian Peterson. Blair Walsh was a rookie and ultimately a hero of the season with his multiple game-winning kicks from long range (boy how that flipped quickly). Jared Allen was anchoring the D-Line, and Harrison Smith was still manning center field. All in all, it was easily Leslie Frazier’s best output for a year. So how does this all equate to the 2020 season again? Let me tell you how.
The Vikings were a measly 6-6 going into week 14 of the 2012 season. They managed to rally and win their next four games in a row behind the surging Adrian Peterson. Like the 2012 version, the 2020 Vikings have a talented running back and a quarterback whom like Ponder is being regulated to game manager mode. If they can manage to keep their defense functioning over the rest of the course of the season, they might be able to right the ship. First things first, they need to get back to .500 by beating the Bears and Cowboys. The first challenge awaits on Monday night football with a road trip to Chicago.
The Bears are coming into Monday night reeling after a loss to a very good Tennessee Titans team. Even though the Bears are coming off a loss, the Vikings having historically struggled in the Windy City, and yet, somehow the Vikings are favored by 2.5 points on the road. The oddsmakers must not have watched the last several trips Minnesota has made to Chicago. It seems like they always get bogged down in the thick grass and can’t perform like they do in the friendly confines of Minneapolis. That being said, maybe they will be able to eke out a victory before an empty Soldier Field. Only time will tell.